I usually do a bit of a round up of the year by choosing my favourite photos of the past 12 months but this year I’ve chosen to limit it to 50 images and not necessarily my favourite images but the ones which I think sum up the year best for me.
2018 has been a great year for the business, the best I’ve had since starting it in 2005 so I have a lot to be grateful for. It’s been a lot of hard work but I’ve enjoyed pretty much every minute of it. As always the variation of subjects I have photographed through the year have been fascinating and kept me on my toes.
2018 has also been the year that the film-making really took off, adding a whole new creative outlet which I am really enjoying. I have a couple of hefty video & stills commissions already booked in for the new year which will keep me busy for a few weeks each plus a very healthy number of wedding bookings so 2019 is looking to be a continuation of this vintage year!
As 2018 was the 13th year since I started Chris Taylor Photo and 13 being my lucky number I decided to commission a cake from the lovely Emma Thorburn at the Buns of Fun bakery…
With the snowfall earlier in the year I had been hoping to get loads of aerial shots of North Norfolk blanketed in the white stuff. Sadly it was also accompanied by very strong winds for much of the time the snow stayed around so I couldn’t get the drone up much. Below is one shot I managed to grab in Holt at the Gresham’s Prep School rugby pitches while shooting some scenes of Holt town for Arnolds Keys estate agents as part of a year-round commission.
In late January I spend a lovely morning with the CRAB rowers – a group from Blakeney who keep their rowing skills up to scratch in the winter months on Barton broad. In the non-winter seasons they row at Blakeney and I spent another morning with them & friends later in the year as you will see further down.
A few years ago local legend and talented artist Colin Seal had an idea to start a Viking Festival in Sheringham to honour the viking history of the town. The below shot was one of many I took on a beautiful sunny day in mid February of a viking reenactment group battling it out on the beach at Sheringham.
Of course I couldn’t leave out wedding shots in this blog post so below are a few of my favourites of the year. Obviously with tens of thousands of images to choose from it’s always going to be difficult so I have grabbed a handful from some of the amazing weddings I shot this year…
With so many stunning properties in Norfolk I was again spoilt for choice for what to choose to show some of the amazing places I’ve been hired to photograph this year. From huge luxury converted barns that sleep 20+ people to tiny one bedrrom converted fisherman’s cottages, each have their own unique North Norfolk charm and present different challenges to photograph in order to capture the atmosphere.
For the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to be the photographer for the Byfords Group properties which include the legendary Byfords Cafe & deli and The Pigs at Edgefield. With regular improvements and changes to the menu they keep me busy photographing their beautiful rooms and delicious menu. In fact 14 of us are heading to The Pigs tomorrow for our New Year’s Day lunch. Their pork belly with black pudding & crackling is pretty special! Below is one of the shots I took this year of their new games room…
2018 was a good year for publicity with my work being shown on BBC, ITV & channel 4, featured in some national press and a four page spread in the Cameracraft magazine as seen below…
It was also a good year for publicity for Cromer Pier, seeing them hosting the BBC Antiques Roadshow, BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet with Jay Rayner and the cherry on the cake was seeing the pier used for the BBC1 Christmas ident…
As always I spend as much time in, on, under or by the sea as I can and 2018 gave me plenty of opportunities. I made a couple of shrimp nets last year from some vintage shrimp netting I bought from a museum. We like a bit of a forage so the summer time is a bonanza with the brown shrimp we can now catch and the delicious samphire we pick on the North Norfolk saltmarshes! Not to mention the mackerel we catch off Blakeney Point from the boat.
With the amazing summer we had this year the sediment dropped out of the water column and provided us with some incredible clear water for at least two weeks. I don’t remember ever seeing the sea so clear here and made the most of it by getting out snorkelling as much as I could. Below is a shot I took of my son Will while we were out snorkeling one morning and the shot below that shows just how clear it was.
I believe this was the second year that the increasingly popular Cromer Hall Concerts were held and I was asked by the organisers to go along & film it for a promotional film. The drone was invaluable for providing the opening shots to set the scene on a glorious summer evening…
In August I had an incredible week down at Cowes Week photographing the sailing action from the press boat. Below are just two shots out of hundreds I took over the time I was there…
As always the RNLI played a huge part in my year and we took Sheringham Lifeboat over to Wells along with Cromer’s All Weather Lifeboat for the last trip of retiring Wells Coxswain Allen Frary. In the below shot you can also see Cromer Coxswain John Davies on the bridge of their Tamar class lifeboat. John also retired this year, a sad year for the North Norfolk RNLI to lose so much experience & knowledge.
Blakeney Point is one of my favourite places on earth and I got to spend many happy days out there this year on various projects, adventures and foraging trips! The below shot was taken while flying the drone from my boat on a shoot for the CRAB Rowers. They were on a trip with various other rowing clubs coming from Wells harbour to Blakeney…
…and back again to shoot the World Norfolk Oyster sailing championships. Again making sure I got the iconic old lifeboat station in the background. Such a beautiful building.
As part of the 1st World War centenary armistice celebrations we held a special service at Sheringham Lifeboat Station and I was honoured to set off a single white parachute flare from the boat. Expertly captured in this shot by my partner Leanne.
A number of events were held around Sheringham for the Remembrance weekend culminating in the lighting of a beacon. This shot of the flames really caught my interest as it looks like a phoenix flying out of the fire. A poignant end to a touching weekend of remembrance.
It wasn’t always sunshine & blue skies for my North Norfolk boating experiences this year – the below is a shot of the Norfolk Coastal Exploration Co.’s 30ft whelker, The Salford, coming into the recently restored Cley Harbour. Once a busy shipping port the harbour became so silted that it resembled a muddy stream until the good folk of the Cley Harbour Association formed to clear it out & make it navigable again. The Salford was the largest boat to sail into Cley Harbour in over 50 years. A momentous occasion indeed!
Always a sucker for punishment I undertook my third Tough Mudder event this year with this merry band from our local gym. It was great fun, if a little tiring but the teamwork & camaraderie makes such a difference when it comes to sliding into a skip full of iced water or running through an obstacle designed to shock you with 10,000 volts!
Please excuse the quality of the next shot, it’s from my phone but I couldn’t resist including it. I’ve always been a huge fan of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s programmes so when I saw online that they run a summer festival at River Cottage I just had to get tickets. We saw Hugh about the place lots, he seemed to ennoy it as much as the festival-goers plus I got to ask Prue Leith in a Q&A session what she would choose for her final meal if she was due to get the electric chair tomorrow. She found the question amusing. (…and in case you are wondering her answer was oysters, followed my more oysters, followed by treacle tart!)
Always looking for a different angle I grabbed this shot of the iconic Happisburgh Lighthouse one evening. It’s not a shot I can ever see anyone buying but I like it for the angles, lines & lighting.
As part of a commission I spent a couple of mornings filming the seal pups at Horsey beach. Looks like this pup has smelled something he didn’t like!
Always a sucker for a good coastal storm I can always be found out & about when we have a good Northerly blowing. My cameras don’t thank me for it although I do provide them with little waterproof anoraks. I’ve only had one die on me so far due to sea water ingress which isn’t bad considering how many times they have been totally swamped by huge waves & spray!
For me 2018 will always be remembered as the first time I found amber on the beach. In fact I know four other people that found sizeable chunks of amber on the North Norfolk beaches. For me it is the ultimate beach treasure (not counting ambergris) and as a total beachcombing anorak it made me happier than I should probably admit! After a short polish using my dremel and some fine grade wet & dry paper the amber came up a treat….
It must be the scavenger in me but I love trawling the local junk yards & antique shops. We were in our favourite one on the coast road when Leanne spotted an old fishing boat which had been cut in half. We asked the owner, ‘Tony Two Sheds’, how much & decided to buy both halves. I got the bow half and Leanne got the stern half. We have since done them both up & use them as garden seat shelters. Pretty cool huh?
Continuing on the creative theme I also learned how to carve wooden spoons this year (and how to carve my finger which wasn’t so much fun). A great way to while away those long winter evenings in front of the wood burner!
I also had a crack at making my first pheasant feather wreath. I was really pleased with it & after sharing a shot on social media it seemed others were interested in making them so we laid on a pheasant wreath-making workshop which was a real success. Might do another next winter, if you are interested please drop me a line.
I couldn’t do a review of 2018 without including a shot of our gang, between myself & Leanne we have 5 little beauties. For Leanne’s birthday we went out for lunch at the awesome Dun Cow pub at Salthouse (their Sunday Roast Beef is just awesome!) followed by birthday cake on the boat at Morston. Look at all the Coke & sugar, we must be mad!
Another phone shot coming up… this is Dexter, a beautiful little Bengal kitten, I got him as a birthday present for Leanne in November and he’s been a source of great entertainment ever since. I’ve never known a cat so clumsy or funny. A beautiful little character and a welcome addition to our clan of 5 children and now 5 cats!!
…and finally a shot of Leanne & myself at our favourite place – the beach! This shot was taken on my camera by Leanne’s sister Onah, it’s not often I get in photos myself so it was great to have this shot taken by Onah and it now adorns the wall of my lounge to remind us of the best place on earth. Happy New Year, I hope 2019 brings you everything you wish for and more!